For all of the scandal, romance and heartbreak headlines that Taylor Swift’s name has been wrapped up in this year, there’s one major story that has been relatively out of sight. It involves a lawsuit — and no, not the one against Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
It started in June 2013, when Taylor was performing a sold-out show on her Red tour at Denver, Colorado’s Pepsi Center. Afterwards, at a meet and greet backstage, local country radio DJ David Mueller was posing for a photo with Taylor when he allegedly groped her behind. Later that night, Taylor’s security apparently approached the DJ and accused him of touching her inappropriately, and he was fired from the radio station two days later.
Two years later, in September 2015, Mueller filed a lawsuit against Taylor for lost wages. She countersued for assault and battery in October 2015. Mueller would later add slander charges to his lawsuit, while Taylor and her camp maintain that, despite Mueller’s claim that it was someone else who groped Taylor, the photo evidence of the incident was all they needed. (This was the same photo that was supplied to the radio station and led them to make their own decision in firing Mueller, Taylor’s team says.)
Fast forward to summer 2016. Right in the thick of all of the “Famous” drama, on July 26, Taylor gave her deposition in the case. Just this past week, the judge agreed to keep the aforementioned photo evidence sealed, lest it “be shared for scandalous and prurient interests” and potentially influence the jury. The deposition, however, was made public. And it is not pretty.
“Right as the moment came for us to pose for the photo, he took his hand and put it up my dress and grabbed onto my ass cheek and no matter how much I scooted over it was still there,” Taylor says in her videotaped statement, via Billboard. “It was completely intentional; I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life.”
She goes on to detail the emotional toll the assault took on her. “I remember being frantic, distressed, feeling violated in a way I had never experienced before,” she said. “A meet-and-greet is supposed to be a situation where you’re thanking people for coming, you’re supposed to be welcoming people into your home, which is the arena for that day, and for someone to violate that hospitality in that way, I was completely stunned.” Yikes.
You might also remember when Taylor missed the VMAs for jury duty earlier this year. It turns out she was excused from the aggravated rape and kidnapping case due to her own pending sexual assault case.
Taylor has previously stated that she would donate any money she won in the lawsuit to charities who work to protect women from sexual assault. We wish her all the best as she continues these heavy legal proceedings.
Did it surprise you to learn the details of Taylor’s case? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo.
(Photos via Mark Davis, Larry Busacca, Andreas Rentz/Getty)